Posts Tagged ‘Mount Kinabalu’

Low’s Peak

Friday, July 25th, 2008

Ever since seeing a Channel 4 documentary called ‘Into The Abyss’ about twelve years ago, I’ve been fascinated with Low’s Gully, so when I heard that it was less than two hours away from Kota Kinabalu where we were staying, I knew I had to go and see it!

Low’s Gully is a 1600m deep rift that hit the headlines in 1994 when a group of five British soldiers got caught up in its depths for thirty one days. The Malaysian army came to their rescue after three weeks of searching and just in the nick of time as many of the badly trained group were on the brink of starvation (even though they were surrounded by all sorts of food – tapioca, sugar cane etc. according to a local woman we spoke to). Despite their best efforts, the army team had still only managed to descend about one third of the gully – it wasn’t actually bottomed until four years later when two of the original army team returned with a new group and threw as much equipment as they could at the rift – they rigged it with 5000m of fixed rope and successfully sneaked through. Known locally as ‘the place of the dead’, locals believe that the gully is a kind of purgatory where the souls of their ancestors pass through on their way to heaven or hell.

Via Feratta on Mt. Kinabalu


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Malaysian Borneo

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

Well we’re in Malaysian Borneo and we’re liking it so far! It’s quite different from Indonesia, a bit dearer for one thing, but also more developed than I expected. For some reason when I thought of ‘Borneo’ I thought of wild jungle land and indirectly, abject poverty. It’s only now that I’m here I realise the importance of the word ‘Malaysia’ before the word ‘Borneo’. I didn’t actually realise until we started out on this trip that Borneo is not a state itself, just an island made up of three countries: The northern strip (Sabah and Sarowak) is part of Malaysia; there’s a tiny bit on the north west coast which contains the rich kingdom of Brunei and the remaining majority is Kalimantan, which is part of Indonesia. We’re in one of the most visited parts, Sabah, as there’s lots to do here and it’s a bit more developed than the Indonesian bit so it’s easier get around. Don’t get me wrong, its not like Europe or anything, it’s just not as poor as Indonesia. Its not as hot either, which is actually very welcome after a month of profuse sweating!

Kota Kinabalu Harbour at Dusk


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